Philip Rivers is one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history when it comes to pulling off rousing comebacks.
A closer look at the Chargers’ 33-30 come-from-behind win over the Pittsburgh Steelers may prove Sunday’s was his most impressive to date.
The win marked Rivers’ seventh come-from-behind victory when trailing by 16 or more points, tying Peyton Manning for the most in NFL history.
In addition, the Steelers were 220-0-2 all-time at home when leading by 14 at halftime, and 174-0-1 when leading by 16 points. They also were 8-0 all-time at Heinz Field in primetime December games.
So, it truly was a historic comeback realizing how stacked the odds were against the Bolts, which is why Russell Okung didn’t mince words when talking about the galvanizing win.
After all, the left tackle knows a thing or two about championship caliber teams. He won a Super Bowl ring with the Seattle Seahawks and appeared in another while lacing up his cleats in the Pacific Northwest.
Thus, while the Bolts maintained this was just another game on the schedule, Okung knew it provided another opportunity.
To show not only to the world that they can be a force to be reckoned with, but to prove it to themselves as well. All those high-profile teams he’d been on before had to get over a similar hump.
“We said it all before the game that this is a statement game,” he said. “This game will really prove, not only to the world, but more importantly to us, are we a playoff caliber team. Are we a capable team? Because the games before earlier in the year we had that we were playing high caliber teams, we weren’t able to come through. We made too many mistakes. We were constantly digging ourselves out of the hole. Arguably, that happened in this game, but the finish, there’s nothing like that and I think we really proved that we’re the new Chargers for sure.”
"We haven’t had a win like this in a long time where we were down like that and fought back and won," Philip Rivers added. "I know it’s never happened here. I saw it’s 174-0-1 with a 16-point lead at home in the history of the Steelers, so pretty heck of an accomplishment today."
Derwin James may be a rookie, but he knows the narrative over the past couple seasons was that the Chargers hadn’t been able to finish games. Now, that story should have been put to bed a while ago as L.A. defeated the Tennessee Titans and Seattle Seahawks with clutch plays down the stretch.
Nonetheless, the safety stressed how this is the type of win that can really put that false narrative to rest.
“A big win,” he said. “A couple years ago games like this we weren’t able to get, but now we are able to come on the road being down 16 points and come back.”
While celebrating the win and all that comes with it, including a 9-3 record that cements a winning record on the year, Head Coach Anthony Lynn rightfully kept everything in perspective.
The Chargers went 3-1 in the third quarter of the season, but now it’s on to the fourth quarter. The Bolts have simply set themselves up to accomplish their goals, but they still have to go out and actually do it.
“That was a heck of a football game,” Lynn said. “I’ve been saying all year that we have a tough football team. Very tough, and I think you saw it tonight. These guys never quit. They came in at halftime, I saw that look in their eyes, and we went back out there and played better football and we got the victory. Pittsburgh is a really good team. This is a tough place to win a game, especially when they get up by 14 points. I was excited for this group tonight and what they did.… We came here to win, and we were going to play four quarters and that’s what we did. We played four quarters. It wasn’t pretty and we know we have to do some things better and be more consistent with this effort, but these guys are going to play four quarters. They are going to give you that.”
Rivers also offered a similar message, echoing his head coach’s sentiments when asked what this win says about the Chargers.
“Well, I think it says were 9-3,” he said bluntly. “Not to give you a silly answer. I think it is a big win. A big win for us. We haven’t had one like this on the road against this kind of opponent, then add the fact that it was come from behind. I think winning the game would’ve been a lot (for us emotionally), but it really just gets us one more win. We stay in the hunt in the AFC West, and kept the margin in the wild card…. It’s a heck of a December still ahead of us, but it was a big game to say the least.”